none

ELECTRIC FUTURE FOR THE AUSTRALIAN AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY

16-10-2017
by 
in 
Senator Lee Rhiannon

The Australian automotive industry is at a crossroad. One path continues on a trajectory of decline, with skills and jobs losses, the other path forges a new path of stability, workers’ rights and innovation.

Climate change is impacting on the automotive industry, with a necessary shift away from fossil-fuel-reliant vehicles towards electric vehicles, and greater access to public and active transport. Due to this, we have before us an opportunity to pivot into a reimagined industry where, instead of allowing massive skills and jobs losses, we could begin to manufacture electric vehicles.

Our automotive manufacturing industry is one of the most skilled in the world. Electric vehicles are forecast to make up over a third of new vehicle sales by 2040. Instead of importing these vehicles, which would mean the loss of our skilled workforce and their jobs, we could retrain workers in the automotive industry to produce electric vehicles right here in Australia. Electric vehicles are a huge part of the future of the global automotive industry, and the Greens are committed to ensuring that Australian automotive manufacturing workers aren’t left out.

Producing electric vehicles isn’t the only opportunity for reimagining the future of the automotive industry we have before us. We have the ability to avoid another situation where multinational corporations leave our workers in the lurch, by creating worker-controlled manufacturing factories for electric vehicles.

The Earthworker cooperative is an excellent initiative that has established Australia’s first worker-owned factory, making renewable energy appliances and components. By using Earthworker’s model of worker-owned and controlled factories, Australian automotive manufacturing workers could create sustainable, secure jobs that are good for our communities and our planet.

The opportunities for a sustainable and worker-focused automotive industry are endless. We could use Australian steel for electric vehicles, supporting our struggling steel industry; we could work with local councils to create community-owned electric car fleets; we could work with community-run renewable energy projects to power electric vehicles. There’s no end to what we can reimagine for this industry. The Greens are ready to build this world that is possible and essential.

Senator Lee Rhiannon is Greens industry spokesperson.

 

Related news & editorials

  1. 09.04.2018
    09.04.2018
    by      In
    Australia has achieved a world-record 26 consecutive years of economic growth and 17 consecutive months of jobs growth – the longest run ever recorded in Australia’s history.
    The strong performance also extends to manufacturing. According to the AIGroup’s Performance of Manufacturing Index (PMI),... Read More
  2. 03.04.2018
    03.04.2018
    by      In
    Making the tax system work for everyone is one of the most important tasks facing any government.
    Governments need to collect enough revenue to fund all their activities, from infrastructure spending to provision of healthcare and education.
    They need to ensure that the tax burden is fairly... Read More
  3. Senator Cash
    27.02.2018
    27.02.2018
    by      In
    For over 20 years, Industry Update magazine has been a valuable voice for Australia’s manufacturing sector, and I congratulate IU on reaching its 100th edition.
    This achievement is a timely milestone because Australia’s manufacturing sector is currently experiencing its longest consecutive run of... Read More
  4. Kim Carr
    12.02.2018
    12.02.2018
    by      In
    An odd thing about public discussion of manufacturing in Australia is how often we have to remind people why it is important.
    Industry Update and its readers understand why manufacturing matters, of course, and I congratulate IU, as it celebrates its 100th edition, for its staunch defence of the... Read More